Mitsubishi to invest in digital healthcare platform SastaSundar
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Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi Corporation has agreed to invest Rs 100 crore ($13.92 million at current exchange rates) in SastaSundar Healthbuddy Ltd, a digital healthcare company which runs an eponymous online pharmacy.

The investment will help the company expand its business, parent SastaSundar Ventures Ltd said in a stock-exchange filing.

BL Mittal, co-founder and executive chairman at SastaSundar, said Mitsubishi’s global presence would help the Indian company grow. Co-founder and CEO Ravi Kant Sharma said the investment was a “milestone” in its efforts to expand its operations in India.

Shares of SastaSundar Ventures jumped as much as 17% to Rs 113.80 apiece on Tuesday in a Mumbai market that was up 0.4%. 

Founded in 2011, SastaSundar Healthbuddy sells medicines and fast-moving consumer goods on its digital platform. The company says it is supported by a network of independent pharmacies (called Healthbuddies), and that it uses a model integrating online and offline channels, including logistics and data.

The digital healthcare firm claims to have invested in personal health technology solutions to provide personalised services to customers.

The capital infusion by Mitsubishi comes after Japanese drug maker Rohto Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd invested $5 million (around Rs 32.4 crore) in the Kolkata-based company in May 2017 in exchange for a 13% stake.

Deals in the online pharmacy segment

The sector has seen heavy investments in the past couple of years, with companies seeking to differentiate themselves through the use of last-mile deliveries and value-added services. Some of the biggest players in the segment include 1mg, NetMeds and PharmEasy.

In January this year, the Gurugram-based 1mg said it was raising $35.31 million (Rs 248.63 crore) in a fresh funding round led by new investor Corisol Holding AG, a Switzerland-based family office. Existing investors Sequoia Capital India, Omidyar Network and healthcare-focussed Swiss investment firm HBM Healthcare Investments also put in money in the startup.

In September last year, the Mumbai-based PharmEasy raised $50 million (Rs 363 crore) in an extended Series C round led by new investor Eight Roads Ventures, with participation from F-Prime Capital, Fundamentum Advisors, San Francisco-based hedge fund Think Investments and existing investor Bessemer Venture Partners.

In the same month, NetMeds raised $35 million (Rs 247 crore) in its Series C funding round that was led by Southeast Asian business conglomerate Daun Penh Cambodia Group, with participation from Sistema Asia Fund, the venture capital arm of Russian conglomerate Sistema JSFC, and Tanncam Investment, a Cambodian investment holding company.

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